As the season changes, people experience a transition in their feelings, routines, and lifestyles. Not surprisingly, nearly 5% of Americans experience symptoms of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) when winter is around the corner.
Shorter days, temperature drops, and fewer hours of sunlight can affect your motivation and mood. However, you can do your bit to address the concern with an extra dose of self-care. You deserve to be healthy in all seasons, so it is a worthy effort.
Let us share a few practical ways to beat the seasonal blues and enjoy the weather all around the year.
Switch to a Seasonal Diet
Every season provides a unique opportunity to explore the bounties of seasonal produce. Prepare a list of fruits and vegetables available in the market during the current season. Stock them up and try new recipes with the flavors of the weather.
These foods are delicious and high in essential nutrients you need during the hot or cold weather. These nutrients and foods help your immune system and overall health. For example, soups, stews, and roasted root vegetables are great for staying warm and healthy during winter.
Staying hydrated may not be on your checklist in the chilly season. After all, you are not sweating at this time of the year. However, heating systems can produce dry air, which may dehydrate your skin and affect your respiratory system.
Commit to drinking lots of water throughout the year. Warm water with a slice of lemon is an excellent drink for winter. Likewise, herbal teas can be soothing and hydrating.
Rework Your Exercise Routine
Freezing weather can affect your regular workout routine, specifically if you are an outdoor buff. But workouts are a must to keep seasonal blues at bay because they boost the happy hormones (endorphins).
Adjust your workout routine according to the season, rather than hibernating on the couch. Consider doing yoga, Pilates, or strength training indoors. Try ice skating, cross-country skiing, or snowshoeing if you enjoy outdoor activities in the winter.
Seek Professional Support
Seek professional help may be necessary if the seasonal mood disorders hamper your mental and emotional well-being. Winter months in New York are an example, as they are particularly problematic. Many residents feel depressed and exhausted.
Fortunately, there are many options in nyc psychotherapy clinics in the area. You can search in a few clicks and find a specialist to help. A seasoned mental health professional can help you manage and overcome these challenges by providing strategies and therapies.
Spend Time Outdoors
Spending time in natural light is beneficial to your mood and circadian rhythm during seasonal changes. You should take advantage of sunny winter days whenever possible.
Step out for a walk during a comfortable hour, whether it is too hot or cold. Natural light can help regulate your internal system, so ensure getting enough of it in all seasons.
Create a Healthy Sleep Routine
Winter’s longer nights can throw off your sleep schedule. Likewise, excess heat in the summer can make you uncomfortable enough to cause sleep deprivation. You should establish a consistent sleep routine to combat sleep issues.
Aim for seven to nine hours of quality sleep every night in all seasons. Adopt a bedtime routine with activities such as reading, meditation, or gentle stretching. You should also make sure your sleeping environment is optimal, dark, and free of electronic devices.
Manage Your Stress Levels
Stress can be amplified during the hot or cold season. Winters are tougher with holiday obligations and weather challenges. Integrating stress-reduction techniques into your daily routine can make all the difference. Meditation, deep breathing exercises, and progressive muscle relaxation can be your saviors.
You must prioritize activities that bring you joy and relaxation as self-care. These may include taking warm baths, engaging in hobbies, or spending quality time with loved ones.
Connect With Others
Social connections are vital for mental and emotional well-being, Isolation can be challenging when the weather is rough or extreme. You should make an effort to stay socially active throughout the year.
In-person gatherings keep you in touch with friends and family. Engaging with others can provide support and foster a sense of belonging, making you a happy person.
Beating the seasonal blues requires a holistic approach to self-care that focuses on embracing the season instead of trying to escape it. By following these tips, you can thrive throughout the year. Remember that self-care is an all-season commitment, and these strategies can help you maintain your physical and emotional well-being every day of the year.